L-Lysine Health Facts and Information

L-lysine, a common form of lysine, is an essential amino acid required but not produced by the human body. Consequently, it is important that you include ample amounts in your diet. Proteins, including those found in meat, poultry, and milk contain high amounts of L-lysine. Conversely, proteins that come from grains and grain products are usually low in L-lysine. Small amounts of L-lysine are also found in vegetables and fermented foods such as yogurt and miso.

Researchers now believe that lysine is instrumental in helping the body to absorb and conserve calcium, but lysine serves many other important functions in the body. Lysine appears to interfere with the replication of herpes and is prescribed by doctors to individuals who suffer from cold sores or have contracted genital herpes. Although not completely conclusive, trials investigating the benefits of lysine on cold sores support the use of lysine for this purpose.

Since lysine supplementation increases the absorption of calcium and may reduce its excretion, some researchers are confident that lysine may some day play a role in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis.

Dosage and Administration

A common dosage that has been used for possible prevention of herpers virus recurrence is 500 mg to 3 grams daily. An average dosage for other conditions is 1 gram per day.

Possible Side Effects

In animal studies high dosage of lysine have been associated with an increased risk of gallstones and elevated cholesterol. However, supplemental amounts have shown no significant side effects.